AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF FIRST CHRONICLES

The name "Chronicles" was coined by Jerome, the famous Latin Bible translator. The Jews called 1 and 2 Chronicles by another name--"the words of the days." Originally appearing in the Hebrew Bible as one volume, they constitute a recapitulation of everything which preceded them. (The Books of Chronicles are the last books in the Hebrew Bible.) They retell the same story and end with the same conclusions. However, special attention is given to the rule of David, Solomon, and the kings of the southern kingdom (Judah). 1 Chronicles is similar to 2 Samuel except that 1 Chronicles is prefaced by massive genealogies, from the beginning of time until the Babylonian Captivity.

Jewish tradition says that the author was Ezra, who led them back from exile. Whoever the author was, he had access to many historical archives which have not been preserved. Guided under the inspiration of God, the writer penned what suited his purpose. Though there is much repetitive material and some double narratives, we must not be lulled into thinking that these accounts are not an important part of God's revelation. God is constantly involved with His people. When they obey, God blesses them. When they disobey, God cancels their spiritual privileges. We must be faithful to God.

1 Chronicles is not to be confused with the lost Chronicles of Israel mentioned in 1 and 2 Kings. The Books of Chronicles were written after the Books of Kings. 1 and 2 Chronicles were compiled after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile (2Chr.36v21-23) in the priestly and legal spirit of Ezra, the scribe.

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